About Stephen Hise

Stephen Hise is the Evil Mastermind and co-administrator of Indies Unlimited. Hise is an independent author and an avid supporter of the indie author movement. Learn more about Stephen at his website or his Amazon author page.

Title Twins: What Happens When Your Book has the Same Title as Another Book?

Authors want their books to have a unique and memorable title. I know a lot of authors who will not even tell anyone the name of a work in progress until it is published because they don’t want anyone to steal their title.

It’s easy to understand why authors would feel that way. You can’t copyright a title and sometimes finding a good one is harder than writing the freaking book. That causes two things to happen:

1. A lot of books have the same title as at least one other book; and

2. A lot of books have bizarre titles that are hard to remember, like The Return of the Revenge of the Curse of the Son of the Bride of Vampire Ninja vs. Robot Space Monkeys, Part II.

So it is not that terribly surprising that Stephen King has a book with the same title as that of another author.  Emily Schultz published her debut novel, Joyland, in 2006. Stephen King’s Joyland was released in 2013.

What I do find surprising is that the coincidence seemed to result in a sales spike for Ms. Schultz. According to The Telegraph article, a lot of those purchases were made by people who thought they were buying the King book. I guess I can see how someone might make that mistake. Still, the author’s name on the cover should be a clue. Continue reading

Comment Courtesy

Out of the frying pan into the fireMercury is in retrograde. I don’t know what that means, but that is what someone told me about why people seem to be a little touchier than usual.

Sure, there are always some dark alleyways on the internet where you can count on seeing or participating in some sort of cyber-brawl. Indies Unlimited is not one of those places.

We like civil, even-spirited debate, and there is no reason it can’t be respectful debate. We have a comment policy that spells it out pretty well. Nevertheless, I’ve seen a couple of weird things going on of late that I want to bring out in the open: Continue reading

Trigger Warning Template

scaredLynne Cantwell wrote an excellent article on the relatively new trend of providing trigger warnings for books.

Of course, it is impossible to know what might offend or shock another person. This can make it difficult to write a trigger warning that would accomplish the desired objective. It is also important to authors that any trigger warnings avoid creating spoilers, ruining carefully-crafted and suspenseful passages in the book for readers who may not have such delicate sensibilities.

Obviously, someone needed to step up and provide a ready-to-use template for these trigger warnings. We’re here to help. We asked our crack legal team* to come up with a template that could be used to meet these complex criteria. You’re welcome. Continue reading

NewsBites: LogoMania!

NewsBitesWelcome to NewsBites. You probably know we earned our reputation when one of our tankers, the Indies Unlimited Valdez, carrying a load of snark-enhanced truth, sprang a leak and coated random penguins with ugly, sticky facts. Or maybe that was just a dream I had.

Regardless, it is our job to drill deep down into the inky recesses of the internet and pump out delicious and nutritious truth. Then we strip out all the boring stuff. You’re welcome. Continue reading


CigarOne of the questions we ask authors who participate in our book brief feature is: “Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?” The reason I ask that question is because I want to know what you want your readers thinking about when they have finished the book. I want to know if it is meant to prompt some kind of introspection or an examination of issues.

Some authors struggle with that question. Some will say the book is just intended as pure entertainment. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I think Milton Berle said that. He may have stolen it from Freud. Continue reading